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Douglas Mc Gregor Behavioral Science Theory (X and Y Theory) Essay Sample

Following essay sample is written on Douglas Mc Gregor Behavioral Science Theory (X and Y Theory) of motivation and management of staff or workers. This theory is based upon the social behaviour and psychology of employees working in an organization or workplace.

Douglas Mc Gregor was a social psychologist who introduced his book on “Human Side of Enterprise” in 1960. This book introduced Mc Gregor’s theory of motivation and management in the form of ‘TheoryX’ and ‘TheoryY.’

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Both the theories of X and Y have their own significance in the motivation and management of the workers. They both are applied in different forms of organizational leadership style of work on the basis of the goals of organization.

According to Douglas Mc Gregor there are two types or set of workers in any organization who are either self motivated to work or is lazy and lethargic to work. Mc Gregor has his own assumptions regarding the workers motivation or self interest to work. In both the situations, theory X and Y can be applied for workers motivation and participation in work.

Douglas Mc Gregor’s Theory of Motivation 

Mc Gregor’s theory of motivation can be studied under Theory X and Y.  Both the theories have their respective characteristics that can be applied according to the goals and objectives of the organization.

Theory X of Mc Gregor’s Theory of Motivation 

These theories are based on assumptions of workers interest and motivation to work. It is assumed under theory X that the workers working under this are lazy and unmotivated to work. It is assumed that there is a disliking of work by them and have almost no motivation to work. Few assumptions attached with this theory X are :-

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  • There is no personal interest from the side of workers to work. They are born lazy and needs to be motivated for timely delivery of work.
  • They need to be under strict supervision and close monitoring of their work must be done.
  • A need to control the workers arises in this situation so that there is quality delivery of work and increase in the productivity level of the workers.
  • A centralized authority and power lies with the manager of the organization as there is no delegation of work or authority.
  • Work is repetitive in nature and monotonous so a carrot and stick approach of work is taken up. Therefore, their work is micromanaged by the manager and the workers needs to be coerced and managed properly to get the work done by them.
  • Managers have a pessimistic approach towards workers and their performance. Employees have immense work presssure and deadlines for completion of their project or work.
  • Managers need to introduce performance appraisals, recognition and rewards to control the staff and get work from them. Punishments are also imposed in order to cater to the organizational target or goal.
  • This theory is only useful in high intensive work unit of workers and labours who need to work beyond their working hours aswell. It works for large expanded unit of organization.

Theory Y of Mc Gregor’s Theory of Motivation 

It is mostly an optimistic approach of motivation theory of workers or employees. This team of workers are mostly self driven and self motivated to work. They do not need to be forced or coerced to deliver work. Some of the assumptions of Theory Y of Mc Gregor’s motivation theory are:-

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  • Employees are self motivated, self driven and self directed to perform and deliver quality work.
  • Managers are mostly friendly in their approach and are optimistic. They follow a democratic set up of motivation and decentralized authority of work.
  • This theory is participative and not autocratic like theory X. All the workers participate and contribute to the work and management of the organization.
  • There is a proper delegation of work and authority to other members from the end of the manager so that the work could be managed well.
  • It ensures a collaborative team work and strong interpersonal relationships based on trust and understanding between and amongst the employees and manager.
  • Open channels of communication for the employees so that they could coordinate and communicate well at their work place.
  • Performance appraisals , rewards and recognitions are given for motivation of the employees and not to control the staff.
  • Workers are encouraged to take up responsibility of work, developing work skills, quality output of work and increase their productivity level at work.
  • Such workers are mostly happy and secured as they could be critical thinkers of the situations and have problem solving ability. They take the ownership of their own work.

Application of Theory X and Y of Mc Gregor Theory of Motivation at the workplace 

  • The application of theory X and Y depends upon the style of organization and it’s objectives and goals.
  • The new candidates of any organization could be taken under the Theory X of motivation. They can be instructed and commanded to do work according to the manager’s choice as they start learning and developing interest for their new work.
  • When handling a team of experts, they may not like to take commands and instructions from a centralized authority. They would rather like to work at their own initiative. So they must not be forced to work as it may ruin the relationship with the manager.
  • Both the theories have their set of challenges and goals. If the approach is kept too strict in theory X, then workers may loose focus and interest to work. They may not like to cooperate and may even damage personal relationships and reputation of the organization.
  • The approach towards workers must not be too casual or relaxed under Theory Y. As the employees could start taking advantage of such relaxed working environment and may even neglect work and loose focus. A mild level of control and management is required in this scenario.
  • Theory X is for target driven and repetitive job like sales job while Theory Y is for expertise workers or employees.

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The sample essay written above is based on the the motivation theory of Douglas Mc Gregor Behaviorial Science Theory (X and Y Theory). This theory highlights Douglas contribution to management of employees at workplace and also theory of motivation. This theory can also be read with Elton Mayo Human Relations Theory and FW Taylor of Motivation of employees or workers.

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